Known by the world as Kickstarter’s darling, the makers of the tremendously popular Pebble smartwatch are hoping for a repeat performance. A little bit ahead of the launch of Apple’s wearable debut, Pebble wanted to raise $500K to produce their new Time Steel product. It appears a few backers have some interest in the new wearable; with 20 more days to raise funds, nearly 66K people had promised Pebble almost $16.7M dollars.
There is no question that this is another Kickstarter success story, but it really isn’t a win for the crowdsourcing concept. Many would-be backers have described their Kickstarter experiences as being similar to shopping in an online store. That kind of logic is hard to argue with when Pebble has basically used it as a means by which to offer pre-orders for their latest timepiece.
It’s unfortunate if not inevitable. Places like Kickstarter were brought to life so the little guy could bring a great idea to market, even without the capital to do so (funding creativity, as they say). It kind of ruins things when an already well-funded company like Pebble uses it to generate enthusiasm for something they would have released anyway. Their behavior smells opportunistic and is clearly a publicity stunt… which violates the spirit of the site, and is more than a little disappointing.
No matter, Pebble is still a worthy contender in the battle for dominance in the wearables market –but that could change after Apple’s next event on March 9, during which we expect to hear a lot more about their highly anticipated watch.